Flames clinch playoff spot

With a playoff spot assured, the Calgary Flames now have their sights set on loftier goals.

Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff chops down Dallas Star Steve Ott during the Flames 2-1 win in Dallas on Thursday.

Flames 2 Stars 1

DALLAS — With a playoff spot assured, the Calgary Flames now have their sights set on loftier goals.

Miikka Kiprusoff made 29 saves, Craig Conroy scored the go-ahead goal and the Calgary Flames clinched a playoff spot with a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.

The Flames can focus on gaining home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Calgary took a one-point lead over Vancouver for the Northwest Division lead, with the Canucks playing Anaheim later Thursday.

“Making the playoffs is just a step on the way to another one,” said Calgary’s Jarome Iginla, who scored his 33rd goal. “We didn’t even talk about it afterward. I’m sure we’ll talk about it on the bus, but our goal is more than that.”

The Flames will make their fifth consecutive post-season appearance despite dropping eight of their last 13 games.

Before this recent slide, Calgary had a 10-point lead over Vancouver in Northwest on March 6. The Canucks and the Flames play each other Tuesday night in Vancouver.

“It’s a huge win for us,” Calgary left wing Eric Nystrom said. “We want to get the ball rolling and build off the good things we did.”

Rookie Fabian Brunnstrom had a goal, and Marty Turco stopped 22 shots for Dallas.

Dallas has dropped eight of nine. With four games left, the Stars are likely to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

While still mathematically alive, Dallas would have to climb past four teams to finish eighth in the Western Conference.

“You have to keep pushing every day,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “You have to will yourself until someone tells you it’s done.”

Conroy deflected Dion Phaneuf’s shot from the slot past Turco to give the Flames a 2-1 lead with 7:39 left in the second period. After giving up an early goal, Kiprusoff secured the win by turning away two power plays and stopping 10 shots in the third.

“He’s one of the best,” Dallas’ Mike Modano said of Kiprusoff. “He’s very established and we didn’t get much in terms of quality chances.”

The Flames were short a defenceman after Robyn Regehr left early with a lower body injury. Calgary coach Mike Keenan said Regehr is day to day.

“Injuries are part of the game,” Calgary defenceman Jordan Leopold said. “This isn’t the time of year when you want them. But we’ve got depth for a reason.”

The Stars, who snapped a seven-game skid Tuesday night against Los Angeles, took the early lead on Brunnstrom’s 14th goal. The rookie scored on a back-hander at 3:02 of the first. Iginla hit the right post with his shot and the puck deflected off the back of Turco’s skate and just crossed the goal line to tie it at 10:40.

Notes: Eight players were scratched from the Dallas lineup, including D Trevor Daley (lower body), D Stephane Robidas (lower body) and C Brian Sutherby (lower body) . . . The Flames were 0-for-2 on the power play. Calgary has not scored in its last 19 chances with a man advantage over five games

Just Posted

Avid Penhold climber Catlin Hannah’s death a reminder of the dangers of scrambling

Hannah never returned from his Mount Smuts attempt on Aug. 12.

Trudeau: no apologies for heckler encounter, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

OTTAWA — Hate speech and the politics of division are creating a… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House RCMP charge woman with drug trafficking

Rocky Mountain House RCMP have charged a woman with drug trafficking after… Continue reading

Officials report some headway on wildfires, but thick smoke hangs over B.C.

Wildfire crews report some headway was made over the weekend battling hundreds… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Albertans learn about farm life at Sunnybrook Farm Museum

Pioneer Days Festival in Red Deer Saturday-Sunday

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month